[02/04/05 - 12:00 AM]
USA Network's Nashville Star Narrows Thousands of Contestants to Ten Finalists for Third Season

[via press release from USA]



Country Music Talent Search Premieres Tuesday, March 1, on USA at 10:00 PM ET/PT

New York, New York � February 4, 2005 � All ten finalists have been named for the third season of USA Network's Nashville Star, a grassroots nationwide talent search for the next country music superstar, premiering Tuesday, March 1, from 10:00 � 11:00 PM (ET/PT) on USA Network.

During the nine-week series, the finalists will compete for the grand prize--a recording contract with Universal South Records. While all contestants must be at least 18, there is no upper age limit, opening the competition to talented adults pursuing their dreams at any age.

"Going through the process of screening thousands upon thousands of performers, the quality of untapped talent continues to amaze me," said Nashville Star executive producer Jeff Boggs. "The wonder of this show is that it works. In this ocean of hopefuls, the talent was so strong that we had a tough time getting it down to only ten. This will be our best season yet."

And the ten multi-talented contenders are:

Justin David, 30, from Marshfield, MO. David learned to play mandolin at the age of four, and he wields the fiddle and guitar with the same virtuosity.

Jody Evans, 28, from Donaldson, AR. Evans is a police officer by day, rockabilly singer by night. He grew up on the music of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.

Jenny Farrell, 35, from Albuquerque, NM. Farrell is a singer/songwriter who toured with Mustang Sally in the late '90s, opening shows for country artists including George Jones.

Erika Jo Heriges, 18, from Angleton, TX. This high school senior has been performing with bands for over thirteen years.

Christy McDonald, 29, from Tabor City, NC. By day, McDonald is the receptionist at the Warner Bros. Nashville office. In her off time she is a performer, demo singer and songwriter.

Jason Meadows, 33, from Calera, OK. Meadows grew up on a farm in Calera, and his music reflects the traditional influences of Merle Haggard, George Strait and Hank Williams, Jr.

Josh Owen, 19, from Brownsboro, TX. This guitar slinger has been singing since he was three. He has performed on the "The Arsenio Hall Show," "The Maury Povich Show" and "Star Search," where he was a finalist at age five.

Casey Simpson, 19, from Cerritos, CA. Simpson recorded a song for the 2002 "Rugrats" Christmas movie, as the voice of the wooden grandma. She performs throughout southern California and often sings the National Anthem at the Staples Center before Lakers, Kings and Sparks games.

Tamika Tyler, 33, from Coffs Harbour, Australia. Tyler had a successful singing career in her native Australia before starting a family and moving to a Colorado ranch with her husband, a rocket scientist, and their son.

Jayron Weaver, 22, from Dallas, GA. Jayron began singing in church as a child, and he is currently serving as music minister at a local church. He also works full-time at a warehouse while attending college classes.

Nashville Star will again air live from Nashville's BellSouth Acuff Theatre for eight weeks following the premiere. The show is hosted by LeAnn Rimes. The third season judging panel includes rock band Poison front man Bret Michaels, country hitmaker Phil Vassar and industry executive/artist manager Anastasia Brown. Comedian Cledus T. Judd joins the show as special correspondent.

Nashville Star is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Restaurant," "Coupling") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out"). Jeff Boggs serves as executive producer in association with Reveille. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision.

Universal South Records is a joint venture between highly respected music executives Tim DuBois and Tony Brown and Universal Motown Records Group in New York, which is part of the Universal Music Group. The label's roster includes: Joe Nichols, Bering Strait, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Katrina Elam, Matt Jenkins, Lee Roy Parnell, Matthew West, Amanda Wilkinson, Holly Williams and Marty Stuart.

Universal Music Group is the world's largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

REVEILLE develops, produces and distributes new and non-traditional programming formats for television and motion pictures across a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, game, and reality for American and international markets. In addition to selling television formats for independent producers such as NBC Universal Television Studios (USA Network, Sci Fi Channel), BBC Worldwide, Renegade and Princess Productions, Reveille sells its own produced program formats such as "The Restaurant" (NBC), "Blow Out" (Bravo) and "30 Days" (FX). Reveille also distributed the internationally renowned, award-winning "911" documentary and is a world leader in creating integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers, developing alternative financing paradigms and selling and distributing television formats in markets worldwide.

Reveille has produced projects such as "The Restaurant," "The Biggest Loser" and coming in 2005, "The Office" for NBC. Cable projects include "Blow Out" for Bravo, "The Club" on Spike, USA Network's "Nashville Star" and the Morgan Spurlock project "30 Days" for FX Networks.

USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [february 2005]  

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